taint

1
[teynt]
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noun
  1. a trace of something bad, offensive, or harmful.
  2. a trace of infection, contamination, or the like.
  3. a trace of dishonor or discredit.
  4. Obsolete. color; tint.
verb (used with object)
  1. to modify by or as if by a trace of something offensive or deleterious.
  2. to infect, contaminate, corrupt, or spoil.
  3. to sully or tarnish (a person's name, reputation, etc.).
  4. Obsolete. to color or tint.
verb (used without object)
  1. to become tainted; spoil.

Origin of taint

1
1325–75; conflation of Middle English taynt, aphetic variant of attaint struck, attainted, past participle of attainten to attaint; late Middle English taynt hue, tint < Anglo-French teint (< Latin tinctus, equivalent to ting(ere) to dye, tinge + -tus suffix of v. action); and teinte < Late Latin tincta inked stroke, noun use of feminine of past participle of tingere
Related formsun·taint·ed, adjectiveun·taint·ing, adjective

Synonyms for taint

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taint

2

or t'aint

noun Slang: Vulgar.
  1. the area between the testicles or vulva and the anus; the perineum.

Origin of taint

2
it ain’t (the one or the other), meaning it is the area in between
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for taint

Contemporary Examples of taint

Historical Examples of taint

  • This is now a tainted place, and I well know the taint of it clings to me.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • I will not hear it from your lips, and with the taint of your wickedness upon it.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • His temper was of the saturnine complexion, and without the least taint of moroseness.

    Joseph Andrews Vol. 1

    Henry Fielding

  • The air did not seem lovely to him, for he was positive that he detected the taint.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • No taint of vice or dissipation had ever sullied the brightness of his pleasant life.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon


British Dictionary definitions for taint

taint

verb
  1. to affect or be affected by pollution or contaminationoil has tainted the water
  2. to tarnish (someone's reputation, etc)
noun
  1. a defect or flawa taint on someone's reputation
  2. a trace of contamination or infection
Derived Formstaintless, adjective

Word Origin for taint

C14: (influenced by attaint infected, from attain) from Old French teindre to dye, from Latin tingere to dye
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for taint
v.

1570s, "to corrupt, contaminate," also "to touch, tinge, imbue slightly" (1590s), from Middle English teynten "to convict, prove guilty" (late 14c.), partly from Old French ataint, past participle of ataindre "to touch upon, seize" (see attainder). Also from Anglo-French teinter "to color, dye" (early 15c.), from Old French teint (12c.), past participle of teindre "to dye, color," from Latin tingere (see tincture). Related: Tainted; tainting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper